There has been an environment of fear all around us for the last four years. Every time we think of writing or speaking something, that might prove to be an obstruction in the pursuit of so-called “nationalists”, we fear death and threat. And it is not the only thing haunting us but we also face fear of our personal information being leaked (access to our aadhar to anyone who could pay a paltry sum of Rs. 500, hacking of our bank accounts), being tormented for choosing religion or life partner of our choice (Hadiya case ) and being flogged by cow vigilantes ( for eating or transporting cows or buffaloes).
Anti – superstition activist and Maharashtra’s most vocal rationalist Narendra Dabholkar was shot dead for condemning the practices of blind faith and superstition. M.M. Kalburgi also had to face the wrath of Hindu fundamentalists for raising his dissent against them. Govind Pansare, a senior CPI (Communist Party of India) leader was gunned down for writing a book called Shivaji Kon Hota, in which he described that many of Shivaji’s body guards and one third of his personnel were Muslims. And what’s surprising is that not a single perpetrator has been brought to book, raising questions over the working of the system.
The brunt of running amok by these fundamentalists is often faced by journalists and writers. Gauri Lankesh, Rajdeo Ranjan, Sai Reddy, Jagendra Singh, Shantanu Bhowmik and many more lost their life to powerful people, writing about their corrupt practices. According to latest available data with National Crime Records Bureau, 142 cases of attacks have been registered over two years on journalists. This figure manifests the alleged impunity with which these fundamentalists and corrupt are working. Hansda Sowvendra’s book, The Adivasi Will Not Dance, was banned for hurting Santhali women’s dignity. His effigies were burnt and he was threatened with murder.
The incidents of cow vigilantism have been prevalent across Northern and Central India. Killing of Pehlu Khan for transporting cows, Akhlaq for purportedly eating beef and flogging of dalits in Una clearly show that how fringe elements in the society have been given a tacit power to run amok. They are almost sure that they would not be reined in.
Proving that how nonchalantly our Aadhar data is safeguarded, a journalist with The Tribune raked up the issue of Aadhar security. She paid Rs. 500 to an agent to get access to Aadhar data. By paying additional Rs. 300 the agent assured her of providing software which could help her print Aadhar Card. Instead of making the system watertight, UIDAI registered an FIR against the journalist. The largest data breach took place in 2016, affecting nearly 3.2 million data cards. The breach was caused by a malware injection in the system of Hitachi Payment Services Pvt. Ltd.
It’s about time government started taking necessary steps to ensure people that they are not living in a dictator ruled country because it’s no use crying over spilt milk.